Romney Pledges To Take On Unfair Business Practices

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took on U.S. trade policy during a speech at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., Thursday. Romney told Microsoft employees he'd push for free trade "everywhere in the world."

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited another titan of tech yesterday: Microsoft. He told employees that if elected president, he would take on the cheaters, as he called them, who commit piracy, counterfeiting and other unfair business practices. From member station KUOW, Amy Radil reports. Romney also pledged for free trade everywhere in the world.

AMY RADIL, BYLINE: Mitt Romney had strong words for China during his appearance on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington. He included the country, along with Russia and jihadists, as those who pose threats to the United States. And he repeatedly singled out China for stealing intellectual property and for currency manipulation. Romney says he would get tough.

MITT ROMNEY: Now, what do you do about China? How do you deal with its cheating? On day one of my administration, I would designate China as a currency manipulator.

RADIL: He drew applause when he added that we don't need new legislation, we need a new president to tackle the problem. Romney dismissed a trade war with China as unlikely. John Richardson is a Microsoft employee. He supported Romney in 2008. But Richardson worries that Romney's latest speech could alienate the colleagues in his diverse workplace.

JOHN RICHARDSON: We have a lot of people here in our employee base who are from those nations, and he needs to bring them into the tent.

RADIL: Romney spoke to members of Microsoft's Political Action Committee, but didn't take any questions. He told the Microsoft crowd that although some people don't like you and feel business is bad, I don't dislike you. I love you. I appreciate what you do. For NPR News, I'm Amy Radil, in Seattle.

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